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Does "color" help a bad singer?
Old 11th May 2006
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Does "color" help a bad singer?

hello i am newbie that is looking for my first mic pre .

i just read this :

Third, we tried the SSA 1.1 on vocals with the SM57, the AT4047 and a Blue Baby Bottle. We found the SSA 1.1 translated vocals well. Yet, it did not add musicality to the source. As far as musicality, the Buzz gave us precisely the musicality coming from the source. If you got a good vocalist, then you're going to get a musically good track.

full article is here http://www.mojopie.com/ssa11.html

Does it mean if the mic pre adds some "color" to the source... my sing would be "more good, more musically"? i know that a "magic box" does not exist , but since i am not a good singer :-( would a mic pre with color help me ?

thanks a lot

ps is very hard for a newbie choosing his first mic pre ... very very hard
Old 11th May 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Knastratt's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah. it does. He'll be coming through as a bad singer "soundiing" "great"!

*Sorry*

/PΓ€r
Old 11th May 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
It never hurt Al Jolson.

*sorry again*
Old 11th May 2006
  #4
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by trobly1000
Does "color" help a bad singer?
Does anything?
Old 11th May 2006 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Invest in voice lessons, not preamps.
Old 11th May 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
hey

if you have a bad singer then you have a bad singer like you said there is no magic box...however, as far as sonic/harmonic quality yes it will sound better on tape ...remember that your pre amp is your magnify glass and the fader controls your level too tape.... but there is nothing you can do about the pitchiness of the singers voice....except autotune or melodyne....but even then they are only good if the singer is good....cause the less moves you have to make on those programs the better....

**** in **** out and that applies on all levels....

hope this helps.
and keep it up....
poly
Old 11th May 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
thanks

thanks everyone for answearing my question :-) i got it now :-)
Old 11th May 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I'm not sure that "advice" was particularly helpful. Both choice of mic and choice of preamp 'colors' a vocal performance. Neither of them can help with a poor performance, but the can make huge differences in the color and texture of the recorded performance.

Clean, transparent mics and preamps are useful for some sources where you simply want to here it the way it really is. Acoustic guitars for example.

Vocal timbre is unique to each singer, and usually each voice has strengths and weaknesses. Usually, you want a mic and preamp combination that flatters the voice, not reveals it warts and all.

Choice of mic is more important for that - whether you benefit from proximity effect or not, and whether you have any problem frequencies you wish to hide, and the amount of room sound you want.

A good preamp gets the best out of the mic you have choosen, and probably has less of an impact on the sound than the mic. But a colorful preamp adds harmonics (distortion from tubes, transformers etc), which are real and measurable. Some voices can benefit greatly from the added harmonics.

If in doubt, a great clean preamp like the Buzz gives you more options. You can always color up a sound later, but you can't clean up a colored sound.
Old 12th May 2006 | Show parent
  #9
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston
It never hurt Al Jolson.
Bastard.

I have tonic water still dripping from my nose. It's made a small pool on the table in front of my laptop... a laptop which now requires the screen and keys to be wiped down.

How about some warning next time?
Old 12th May 2006 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
DAWgEAR's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm a singer.

I don't know about helping a bad singer, but if I hear my voice in the headphones and I like what I hear, the performance is that much more inspired. On the other hand, if I don't like what I am hearing in the phones, consciously or subconsciously I am trying to compensate, usually by pushing harder, and that is never optimal.

It's like playing an electric guitar. If the sound coming out of the amp sounds great, you effortlessly seem to become a "better" player.
Old 12th May 2006 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
RedWallStudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I had the opportunity to record a very well trained singer last night. Great range, perfect pitch and most importantly, a voice that was pleasurable to listen to.. even on its own without accompanyment. He sounded just as good through a Shure 58 using my console pre's as he did on an M-147 through my Neve pre. Something to be said for natural talent. My vote would be to save your money on the mic pre's and spend it on voice lessons... or be left in the precarious position of cruising craigslist ads looking for a new vocalist.
Old 12th May 2006 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
aetucker1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
the only thing that helps a bad singer......................................mute.
Old 12th May 2006 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
RedWallStudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
"Why is the guitar, drums and bass so much louder than the vocals? Because they all sound so much killer dude!!!"
Old 12th May 2006 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAWgEAR
I'm a singer.

I don't know about helping a bad singer, but if I hear my voice in the headphones and I like what I hear, the performance is that much more inspired. On the other hand, if I don't like what I am hearing in the phones, consciously or subconsciously I am trying to compensate, usually by pushing harder, and that is never optimal.

It's like playing an electric guitar. If the sound coming out of the amp sounds great, you effortlessly seem to become a "better" player.
thatΒ΄s true but I think it has more to do with compression and reverb and stuff that inspire you, not the color of a pre.
Old 12th May 2006 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
No matter how you dress it up, a bad singer is just a bad singer in fancy clothes. Those are the sessions I have dreaded the most in the past, where you have a singer that "thinks" they are good and they are bad. Then they can't understand why you can't make them sound as good as they sound "in their head". No way to win in those situations. I had a band that spent 4 hours recording tracks for 4 songs, and then spent 16 hours trying to get usable lead vocal tracks for those songs. Sad.
Old 12th May 2006 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose Mrochek
thatΒ΄s true but I think it has more to do with compression and reverb and stuff that inspire you, not the color of a pre.
I'll debate that, based on personal experience. Sure, reverb, EQ and compression all come into play and maybe ARE more important to some. But with a singer that is good and experienced and knows what she wants, the preamp is very much a key element.

I was working with a singer recently and we tried 7 different preamps. She had a definite preference, both in the control room and in her cans. I was printing the signal from two different preamps, just because I could. If I ever changed over from the one she liked to the other one (like if I was repatching, just so she could hear herself), she immediately would say "What happened to my voice?"

She could hear the nuances and it made a big difference in the way she sang. She wasn't happy hearing the other preamp even if it was just for a minute.

This same singer came in to listen to a remix and stopped halfway through the song and said "What happened to my voice? Something changed." She was right. I had added .5 dB at 3.3K just to make it speak a little more in the track. But it struck her ear as compromising the fullness and making it more harsh. (Very true, if only slight.) I pulled back the .5 dB and she smiled. "That's more like it."

Would a bad singer ever do that? I doubt it.

So I guess you're right after all.
Old 12th May 2006
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Bat Head Sound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Does "color" help a bad singer?

Nope...
Old 12th May 2006 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Switchcraft's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Does perfume give a pile of sh!t that refreshing smell?
Old 13th May 2006 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Switchcraft
Does perfume give a pile of sh!t that refreshing smell?

lmao....that was hilarious....
Old 14th May 2006 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston
But with a singer that is good and experienced and knows what she wants, the preamp is very much a key element.

.
Cool , I only get to sing to 1 preamp : ) I hope someday I get the chance to experiment with different or better ones. Makes sense.
Old 14th May 2006 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger
I'm not sure that "advice" was particularly helpful. Both choice of mic and choice of preamp 'colors' a vocal performance. Neither of them can help with a poor performance, but the can make huge differences in the color and texture of the recorded performance.

Clean, transparent mics and preamps are useful for some sources where you simply want to here it the way it really is. Acoustic guitars for example.

Vocal timbre is unique to each singer, and usually each voice has strengths and weaknesses. Usually, you want a mic and preamp combination that flatters the voice, not reveals it warts and all.

Choice of mic is more important for that - whether you benefit from proximity effect or not, and whether you have any problem frequencies you wish to hide, and the amount of room sound you want.

A good preamp gets the best out of the mic you have choosen, and probably has less of an impact on the sound than the mic. But a colorful preamp adds harmonics (distortion from tubes, transformers etc), which are real and measurable. Some voices can benefit greatly from the added harmonics.

If in doubt, a great clean preamp like the Buzz gives you more options. You can always color up a sound later, but you can't clean up a colored sound.


WHAT HE SAID!
Old 14th May 2006 | Show parent
  #22
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
THANKS

thanks to everyone :-) finally i understood what a mic pre can "give" me and how to spend my money :-)
Old 14th May 2006 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Addict
 
Mount Cyanide's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Save money.
Buy weed, shrooms, great hallucinogenic drugs.
Make experimental music which beacons alien life forms.
Sing as ****ty as you do and be critically acclaimed as artsy.
Dead serious here buddy.
If you can't sing, don't sing like you can.
What's a bad singer anyway?
Everyone, I mean, everyone has their niche.
Be an off key confident lunatic.
And get yourself a 1073.

Truthfully, color does help.
Like when mixing a bad singer.
I'll usually add some transformer bite or
just blatantly distort the piss out of the vocal.
Or try to do something interesting to accentuate--
hey, this is trash and we're proud of it.
Listen to how nuts this singer is.
Megaphone or microphone, squashed, with gobs of tape delay to the left and right from different machines. Reverb up the middle. A digital delay undertone to give definition to the echoes. So yeah, I believe color helps a bad singer.

But the color you're talking about is subtle.
I say GO FOR IT ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!
Old 15th May 2006 | Show parent
  #24
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
just to add to the fray, the things that make a vocal performance unlistenable for me are tentativeness, timbre, and pitchiness. and pitchiness is a distant third.

i'm 100% with those who advise you to invest in lessons. not a sane person in the world would countenance someone asking what amp to buy when they are a self-confessed poor guitarist, i'd like to believe everyone would point you to a guitar teacher so that you can produce a good sound in a way that might interest someone other than yourself.

do not confuse the 'tonality', which is what the preamp and mic give you, with the 'sound', which is what you give the mic and preamp. one is the house, the other is the paint. paint can do a lot of things, but it can't make a crappy house livable.


gregoire
del ubik
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